The United States spends more money on immigration than on all of its other law enforcement agencies combined, according to a nonpartisan report released Monday.
The Migration Policy Institute found that nearly $18 billion was spent in the 2012 fiscal year, reports Huffington Post
to finance operations of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and US-Visit, which identifies undocumented immigrants.
In comparison, a combined $14.4 billion was spent for the FBI, Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshal Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
The costs are high because ICE and CBP refer more cases for prosecution than the federal Bureau of Prisons, the report said.
The country has spent nearly $187 billion on immigration enforcement since 1986, when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act. And after the Sept. 11 attacks, leading to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which also works with immigration enforcement, costs have gone up even more.
Since the mid-1980s, the government now spends 15 times more on immigration enforcement, even adjusted for inflation. But deportations are hitting record numbers. Last year alone, the government sent 409,894 people back to their home countries. Most were sent back through decisions by the DHS, not because of a court order by an immigration judge.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has put some reforms in place to focus on high-priority immigrants, such as criminals, even though a record number of people were deported last year. In addition, Obama has implemented a deferred action program that stops some undocumented young people from being deported.
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